Awakenings: the making of 'Things Impossible'.

An exhibition that explores ablism, mental health and gender expression through technology including virtual reality.

Awakenings - Daydream Echoes detail

Awakenings: The Making of ‘Things Impossible’, traces the collaborative work between SPRUNG!! dancers and Andrew Christie, from their construction of virtual reality experiences to a theatre production at NORPA Lismore to exhibited print and video works at Northern Rivers Community Gallery and here at Grafton Regional Gallery where conceptions of disability visually inhabit the digital space and complicate notions of ablism, mental health and gender expression.

The fabricated realties overlap and entangle to create a series of a non-linear narrative that helps to renegotiate cultural perceptions of disability prevalent in contemporary society. They show figures imparting their uncanny physical characteristics on one another in mysterious environments. These worlds are largely determined by the dancers themselves before being interpreted and constructed by Christie. It is often a refreshing state of being, where people with disability have are able to more actively dictate the terms of their reality, in contrast to when they are often left negotiating many real-world spaces that leave them underrepresented or only considered as an afterthought. In a broader sense, whether these images illicit discomfort and sadness or affirmation and discovery, the works call for patient and considered review of identity and its potential in the digital space where the performative of self-identity can become enticingly malleable as well as infinitely more complicated than previously possible.

Visitors to this exhibition can view a newly produced short film and still image prints, alongside documentation of previous collaborative work at Northern Rivers Community Gallery and NORPA Lismore which includes costumes by Jennifer Irwin, music by Fred Cole and lighting by John Rayment. 

On view from 19 March to 24 April 2022 in the Main Gallery.

Image credits:
Top: Andrew Christie and Sprung, Daydream Echoes 2021, Archival Print on Ilford Fibre Gloss Paper, AP (detail). Courtesy of the artists.
Homepage square:  Andrew Christie, Tallula Bourne and Tara Coughlan, After Embrace 2021, Archival Print on Ilford Fibre Gloss Paper, AP (detail). Courtesy of the artists.
Slider: Andrew Christie and Max McAuley, Bloom 2021, Archival Print on Ilford Fibre Gloss Paper, AP (detail). Courtesy of the artists.

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